You know we love to blab about the things that nobody else talks about, and orgasms are certainly a rarely-mentioned topic. It can feel embarrassing to discuss such an intimate thing with anyone other than your partner, and that’s exactly why we’re demystifying orgasms for those with a vagina and clitoris here on the blog. Let’s talk about the big O!
We hate to burst your bubble, but an orgasm doesn’t always involve the moaning and screaming that some movies will have you believe. Still, we’ll have what she’s having.
An orgasm is usually an enjoyable experience, and though it feels different for everyone, in most cases it tends to be a slow buildup of pleasure followed by an enjoyable release. This could involve screaming and convulsing, or it could mean a quick exhale. Either way, as long as it’s enjoyable, that’s what matters. Don’t feel pressure to put on a show like in porn - real sex isn’t like that.
An orgasm happens when there is an increase in blood flow to the genitals, making them more sensitive. As arousal builds, your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate might increase, and you may notice muscles around your vagina contract and release. Your brain also releases oxytocin and dopamine, making you feel happy and close to your partner.
There are multiple types of orgasm for those with a vagina; clitoral, vaginal, and - are you ready for this? - cervical. Yes, cervical orgasms. Let’s take a look at each one;
Clitoral orgasm - This happens when the clitoris is directly or indirectly stimulated. When you or your partner rubs it the right way, you may experience a pleasant sensation that can build and eventually peak.
Vaginal orgasm - Most people need clitoral stimulation to orgasm, but some can get there with only vaginal penetration, which can bring a more intense orgasm. With vaginal penetration, it’s possible to stimulate the G-spot and A-spot located on the front vaginal wall.
Cervical orgasm - A full-body experience you’ll write about in your diary. Cervical stimulation requires deep penetration, but if done right it can result in what feels like waves of pleasure from head to toe that last quite a while.
All three - It’s possible to stimulate all three areas at once in order to achieve a more powerful orgasm. And don’t forget the other erogenous zones that add to the experience, such as your nipples and anus.
Orgasms are personal to everyone. If you’re unsure if what you felt was in fact an orgasm, then it probably wasn’t - in most cases, an orgasm is an intense, pleasurable feeling that you’re not likely to mistake for anything else.
Some physical signs of an orgasm include contracting pelvic floor muscles, muscle spasms, and sudden sensitivity around your genitals. But don’t overthink it - if it feels good, that’s what matters!
Though rare, orgasms can be painful if you have a condition called dysorgasmia. If you experience painful orgasms, don’t just grin and bear it - speak to your GP.
Everyone has different turn-ons, so what works for someone else won’t necessarily work for you, and vice versa. Masturbation will give you more control as you’ll know what you like, but if you’re having sex with a partner, communicate what feels good and experiment with different ways to bring on an orgasm.
For clitoral orgasms, rub the clitoris in different motions with your fingers or a vibrator until it starts to feel good (some lube might help), then apply pressure and repeat. For a vaginal orgasm, stimulate the G-spot or A-spot using fingers or a sex toy by applying pressure to the front wall of the vagina. For a cervical orgasm (probably the most difficult to come by, pun intended), a doggy-style position helps achieve the deeper penetration needed for this, and taking it slow for an intense buildup is also likely to help. By simultaneously using penetration and stimulating the clitoris, you can get the best of both worlds and have a combo orgasm. A comborgasm, if you will.
We’d love to tell you that having an orgasm a day keeps the doctor away, but unfortunately scientists have never confirmed that orgasms can improve health in any way. That said, orgasms make us feel good, which comes with its own benefits like improving mood and relieving stress. One of the most likely health benefits of having an orgasm is that it releases the hormone prolactin, which is responsible for making you feel relaxed and sleepy. You don’t have to tell us twice…
Many people experience orgasm problems; some physical, some psychological. Common causes include not feeling stimulated enough, stress over sex, past sexual trauma, relationship issues, hormone fluctuations (like during perimenopause), medications (SSRIs are a common culprit), and more.
If you identify with any of these issues, speak to your GP. This may seem like an awkward conversation to have, but having an orgasm is natural, and you are completely justified in seeking advice on your sex life. They may be able to help, or will refer you to a doctor who specialises in sexual dysfunction.
Being unable to orgasm is common, and there are things you can try. Studies suggest intimate communication with your partner and a positive body image could do the trick. Masturbation also helps you discover what feels good, so experiment with this, use lubrication, and tell your partner what you like.
Having trouble reaching the big O? Don’t worry, it’s not just you. If you have any questions about this, we’d love to help. You can ask away over in our private Facebook group, or drop us a note on Insta @itsyoppie. Don't forget that our personalised period box can get organic tampons, eco pads, menstrual supplements (and more!) delivered easily and regularly through your letterbox. That frees up some headspace for thinking about the more fun things you can get up to below the belt!
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